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Author Topic: Mixed feelings on Spycraft 3e  (Read 11945 times)
Azgulor
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« on: March 16, 2010, 08:58:12 AM »

Wow.  Really not sure how I feel about this.

I'm glad for the Crafty crew that things are going well enough to drive the expansion of the RPG lines.  I can see potential benefits for making Spycraft fully "Mastercraft compliant".  However, from a selfish perspective, I'm kind of wavering between disappointed and pissed.

Fantasycraft prompted me to dig Spycraft back out and take another look.  I had purchased 2 of the rulebooks when they were released but never adopted them in place of D20 Modern.  Well, the modern campaigns crashed and burned a while ago.

However, I've been itching to run some modern/sci-fi stuff for a while.  After pulling Spycraft off the shelf and going through it, it just clicked for me this time where it didn't originally.  The thing is, I'm more interested in sci-fi than espionage but searching the Crafty forums showed me how adaptable Spycraft really is.

So I bought World on Fire and the sourcebook (not in front of me at the moment) that combined Agent-X classes, Bag full of Guns, Practice Makes Perfect, etc.  Can I still use them?  Absolutely. 

However, development effort will now be divided between Fantasycraft, 10k Bullets, and now Spycraft 3.0.  So if I'm looking for official material, well, I'm SOL.

See I like crunchy RPGs.  However, I hate coming up with crunch for the most part.  With the more divided focus, will I ever see a Mastercraft sci-fi game?  Post-Apoc?  Horror?  Maybe.  Let me restate that.  MAYBE.

Again, I wish the Crafty crew continued success.  I guess I need time to chew on this for a while...

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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 09:11:06 AM »

That's fair, and we wish we could accommodate everyone's perfect game. Sadly, we're only human and there are only so many hours in the day. For the moment, we need to get modern Mastercraft up and running - something a lot of folks have been asking for since Fantasy Craft released - and after that, and the licenses, we'll see where we are and what we can tackle next.
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 09:47:38 AM »

Last time I checked, there was a mastercraft sci-fi and horror line in the works, although with the big departure from AEG (and now Mongoose), it's only going to slow things down.

Crafty aren't Wizard or White Wolf. They don't have lots of money and writers to throw at a problem. At the moment it's just 2 writers, an artist and a bunch of freelancers, and it isn't the primary source of income for any of them - it's a second job.

In all fairness, 2.0 has been out for nearly 5 years now. I think other companies would have slapped us with a new edition before then. There was only a 3 year gap between D&D 3e and 3.5, and then a similar 5 year gap between 3.5 and 4e.

Personally, I think it's high time 2.0 was streamlined a little.  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 09:48:53 AM »

I was going to create a "feeling" thread.. but this one will do.  Why have 40 threads for 20 guys (and girls) saying the same thing.  Initial Feelings.. Woah!  Didn't see that one coming.  After that.. I have some feelings / questions.  I fully expect the.. "We can't answer that just yet." response, and that's perfectly fine.  Just touching on some points.

Spycraft 3.0.  Is this going to be a big enough change from 2.0 to warrant a whole new version?  Or will this be like Spycraft 2.5?  An updated, "re-core" of the material.  Secondly, will 2.0 be upward mobile to 3.0?  (I would point the comparison to 3.0 to 3.5 or 3.5 to 4E, but that feels like an insult to the crafty bunch. Wink )

Will SC3 be the backbone for modern day ...craft.  ...that sounds wrong, but I think you know what I'm saying.  FantasyCraft = Midievil RPGs, SC3 = Current day?  With other source books building onto what SC3 lays down instead of reprinting the same core rules 40 times?

For all the other news... ..raise a pint and may the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.  Bloody good news in my opinion.

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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 10:07:03 AM »

Spycraft 3.0.  Is this going to be a big enough change from 2.0 to warrant a whole new version?

Oh yeah. For one thing, 2.0 isn't strictly an espionage game, where that will be the focus of Third. Also, Mastercraft is first and foremost a game creator with default settings, which is a wildly different approach that what we saw in 2.0. Plus there's the streamlining and new tools we have in mind. It's very much a new game.

Quote
Secondly, will 2.0 be upward mobile to 3.0?  (I would point the comparison to 3.0 to 3.5 or 3.5 to 4E, but that feels like an insult to the crafty bunch. Wink )

I think I've answered this one pretty well here but let me know if you still have questions.

Quote
Will SC3 be the backbone for modern day ...craft.  ...that sounds wrong, but I think you know what I'm saying.  FantasyCraft = Midievil RPGs, SC3 = Current day?  With other source books building onto what SC3 lays down instead of reprinting the same core rules 40 times?

Spycraft Third and Ten Thousand Bullets are each standalone releases so some core reprinting is necessary. They cater to different facets of modern play, though, so there will be plenty of independent material.

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For all the other news... ..raise a pint and may the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.  Bloody good news in my opinion.

Thank you kindly, sir.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 10:39:50 AM »

Quote
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Secondly, will 2.0 be upward mobile to 3.0?  (I would point the comparison to 3.0 to 3.5 or 3.5 to 4E, but that feels like an insult to the crafty bunch.  )

I think I've answered this one pretty well here but let me know if you still have questions.

/agreed.  That sums it up nicely.

Getting back to Azg.  You mentioned if you wanted Official Product.. you were SoL for 2.0.   What more were you hoping for?  I look at what we use, and except for maybe.. and this is a loose maybe.. a NPC book.. I'm not missing much aside from VoS.
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Azgulor
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 10:52:01 AM »

Let me clarify.

I'm extremely happy with the support Spycraft 2.0 has received.  I'd like it to continue, but I'm ok with Spycraft 3.0 retooling things.

That said, however, a RPG core rulebook is a huge undertaking, demanding greater resources than supplements do (or at least I believe this to be the case).  By adding a SC 3.0 to the mix, I think it's a forgone conclusion that those are resources that aren't going to be expended on official Crafty products for Sci-Fi, Horror, etc.

So to sum up:
1) I love SC 2.0
2) I love FC
3) I love the MC concept.

and...

4) MC's ability to support multiple genres is proven best by, well, multiple genres.  My ardent hope is that we will one day have genre support beyond Fantasy & Modern-day RPGs.

and finally,

5) the adaptability of Spycraft 2.0 to support other genres was a strong feature, not a drawback in my mind.  As I stated earlier, I didn't "get" SC 2.0 initially despite being impressed with it.  After seeing some of the PDF expansions and fan-work on this board, however, I've begun to see how flexible it really is.  I hate to see that lost.  (But I understand the business realities/benefits of more focused content.)

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Azgulor
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 11:03:15 AM »

Crafty aren't Wizard or White Wolf. They don't have lots of money and writers to throw at a problem. At the moment it's just 2 writers, an artist and a bunch of freelancers, and it isn't the primary source of income for any of them - it's a second job.

In all fairness, 2.0 has been out for nearly 5 years now. I think other companies would have slapped us with a new edition before then. There was only a 3 year gap between D&D 3e and 3.5, and then a similar 5 year gap between 3.5 and 4e.

You sir, have squarely hit upon my issue.  I'm aware of Crafty's size & I don't expect them to be WotC, White Wolf, or even Paizo.  This is the primary source of my concern -- they're circling back to the espionage genre with a new edition -- meaning fewer resources or longer wait times for other genre products.

I didn't realize it had been 5 years since 2.0's release.  Comparing FC & SC I can see how their game design has evolved and while I don't think there aren't benefits to be gained in a new SC edition, I don't know that it'd be at the top of my wish list.  That's just me and my personal tastes, obviously.

Obviously, the ideal scenario would be for Crafty to continue to prosper and be able to bring in other writers, etc. to produce more products in shorter timeframes.  I WANT that to happen and if it does, great.

Until then, however, it all comes down to resource allocation.  I get it.  They can't be all things to all people.

However, there's nothing wrong with me wanting to have a single RPG framework (i.e. MasterCraft) to be the RPG engine for ALL of my RPG needs.  Color me crazy for wanting to see that happen before my kids go off to college.  All too often in the RPG industry, a line goes about 50% of the way it was conceived before the "new edition" reinvention of the wheel occurs.  Sometimes, like with SC & FC, the wheel rocks on toast.  Sometimes (sorry 4e, I'm looking at you), it's now octagon-shaped.

Ultimately, business realities drive the lines & development, or lack thereof.  So here's what I'm saying to Crafty:

1) I plan to continue to purchase FC expansions.
2) I'll pick up 10k Bullets.
3) I'll stay tuned to SC 3.0 and may pick it up.
4) I'm VERY interested in seeing what Crafty can do with other genres as well.

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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2010, 11:24:58 AM »

Thanks for the continued support! We do aim to do more eventually but it's not in the cards for the immediate future, and we think it's important to be honest and frank about that.
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2010, 11:31:43 AM »

I think its important to recognise the impact of 10kb on SC3 - alot of the decision making will be simultaneous for the two products.  I'm not saying they will reprint vast swathes of material, but knowing "this is how we're gonna treat modern stuff" gives them a huge step up on both products at once.  Which Pat alluded to in the state of the company post.  So I don't think its going to take up as much development time as some folks are suggesting.  Some time yes, but it won't be a 10 ton rock they have to tow.
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 11:55:52 AM »

I will miss the O.C.D.-level of detail in SC2.  The exacting pre-req's which made feats as class abilities more attractive.  Fluid initiative.  The ability to bludgeon a rules argument to death with The Printed Truth.

I think I will be the only one who will the gear system.

OK, I won't so much miss it as I will miss the idea of completely removing a character's personal wealth from a player's notion of gear.

(Yes, I have the original version of Channeler on my computer for the more complicated spell rules.
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2010, 12:12:45 PM »

I love 2.0 but I also understand the need to reinvent and streamline it into MC. It was necessary for it to be OCD because of the Living campaign. I'm just starting up a home game with 5 players, 2 of which have never played before, and 1 who just bought a new 2.0 book 2 weeks ago. I'm going to be flying by the seat of my pants on parts of the game because it will be better for the story. I love turning things on and off, especially Campaign Qualities. I can select what I need and discard the rest, like Fluid Initiative or most of the Dramatic Conflict for brand new players. Besides, they are contending with Cash N Carry so the less they have to worry about wrapping their head around the better.

As a matter of fact, the only issue I ever really had, and it was more of an issue hearing other players bitch about it constantly, was the Gear chapter specifically. I think it should have been laid out a bit differently with the charts & then descriptions for each set of gear put together one after the other as opposed to all charts together followed by all descriptions together. It would have just made it easier to read, find items, etc. To me, it was a minor point overall but the incessant complaining and grief about the layout as it is has risen my irritation over the years. Mainly because for some reason, they think that giving me enough grief will somehow translate into Crafty bending over backward crank a different edition just to adjust the Gear chapter for them or us. But all in all, it is a minor thing because I can guide people through it quickly.

Am I ready for 3rd Edition? ... Yeah, but I also patient. I place lots of trust in Crafty, more because of Pat then Alex but only because Pat has run me through LSpy mods before and I have yet to be in a game with Alex. I feel my trust is well placed and don't see it changing any. Plus, this Crafty Crew on these forums are some of the best on reverse-engineering, going back and forth between lines, creating/improvising content on the wiki, etc that these boards are a safe haven for when I get confused, have a question or just need to be reassured I was correct about something.

Congrats to Crafty for still being able to punch the clock in the industry!!
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2010, 12:16:30 PM »

I think its important to recognise the impact of 10kb on SC3 - alot of the decision making will be simultaneous for the two products.  I'm not saying they will reprint vast swathes of material, but knowing "this is how we're gonna treat modern stuff" gives them a huge step up on both products at once.  Which Pat alluded to in the state of the company post.  So I don't think its going to take up as much development time as some folks are suggesting.  Some time yes, but it won't be a 10 ton rock they have to tow.

Q. F. T.
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2010, 12:24:42 PM »

I'm more concerned about the almost certain loss of fluid initiative and the probable loss of the Hacker and Wheelman on the altar of simplification.
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2010, 12:28:29 PM »

I'm more concerned about the almost certain loss of fluid initiative and the probable loss of the Hacker and Wheelman on the altar of simplification.

Because of the Dramatic Conflicts that might be done? ... I will miss as well. As for Fluid Initiative, my experience is that it works better with veteran players of the actual game than thrusting it on newbies.
 
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